Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cringeworthy Entertainment on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2009

There are lot of times when watching SRGMP is just so embarrassing, I can barely bring myself to watch. And let it be said that I enjoy those times immensely.

Last week a ton of crap happened that made me put my hands over my eyes and whisper: "Man I can't take this anymore". At times SRGMP became so cringe worthy that it entertained me by virtue of emotional trauma.

First, Head hosted the entire thing in a silly shloka sing-song voice. Well, I thought, if I give it enough time it might grow on me. But is SRGMP a show that takes the predictable route? No! And so it was that Head ended up just as nutty as he was when the show began. I'd like to state this briefly: this season Head has displayed a welcome understanding of the show's tacky values. And his efforts to embrace that are appreciated.

More fun arrived from - surprisingly - the normally soporific Suresh Wadkar.

Let's start with Yashita Yashpal - who has been a bit of a revelation on this show and because she sang that much maligned Aitraaz song (albeit as soon as Asha Bhonsle had left), is one of my favorites. Yashita scorched her way through Vaishali Samant's playful lavni hit Aika Dajiba.

Yashita Yashpal LavniAfter it had ended, Suresh Wadkar asked Yashita if she was Marathi. "I'm Punjabi but I was born and raised in Mumbai". Yaar, Suresh interjected, you sang Marathi so well even though you are Punjabi!

This confusion between ethnicity and statehood used to annoy me back when I used to tell everyone I was Gujarati only to have someone say "But I thought you were a Parsi". Nowadays this stuff just entertains me. In fact, I would like to nominate Wadkar as Maharashtra's Global Cultural Emissary. Sure he'd piss people off, but think of those cool YouTube videos that would result.

But Wadkar wasn't done. At one point Head - putting forth his best straight face - informed the singer that fans had questioned his credentials to judge hip-hop and rock singing. This seemed to wake up Wadkar. "Because I have taleem (in Hindustani music) I can sing anything!" Wadkar thundered, waving his arm about for effect. "Give me a rock song to sing!" and here I detected a note of pleading in his voice "and if I don't do it justice, I'll quit!"

Thus in one fell swoop, Wadkar devalued the singers of every jonar of music but Hindustani classical. I would like to suggest that Wadkar's first assignment as Maharashtra's Cultural Emissary be a meeting with these two gentlemen.

And then - killer! Debojit bombed his way through Sonu Nigam's Aisa Pehli Baar. After listening to some do-chaar from Himesh, Pritam opened up his Puran and handed it to Head. And Head basically told Debojit that he had been left adhura and unfinished by God and was considered abnormal by usual standards. This was followed by some patronizing encouragement.

The go to music at times like this - Taare Zameen Par's theme - started playing in the back. Debojit looked up and blinked. At this point I covered my eyes again and couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry.

Thankfully Debojit's Mom took charge and without unnecessary drama or rona-dhona narrated that Debojit had been evaluated by multiple psychologists who couldn't come up with a definitive diagnosis. So, she concluded, our boy is different from others and unique. Much clapping ensued.

And who can forget on Sunday a jyotish showed up. Smilingly he asked each one their birth date and followed it up with some Linda Goodman style advice. Head introduced Mitika by saying she was in some sankat because she loved someone in Chandigarh. "Achieve something of note!" advised the jyotish man "so that he may love you!"  Wow, India sure has changed: looking hot gets you nowhere these days.

One of these days, when the entertainment value in SRGMP downsizes, we can all talk about the singers. But that might not happen anytime soon. Already a noteworthy cold war is brewing between Shankar Mahadevan and Himesh Reshammiya. And Himesh is still sulking from his chela Sunwinder's exit last week. Its only a matter of time before Monty is back...with a vengeance.

Aren't we all glad that SRGMP is so deliciously...adhura!


Anonymous said...

hehehehe, this show is getting worse and worse. its amazing that all the attention is on the drama and not on the singing.
by the way, who got eliminated on the episode before the astrology one? I missed that

Anonymous said...

anupama kisko love karti hai saasu maa! she got eliminated!

Anonymous said...

on another musical note how awesome are Kings of Leon!! i donno if anyone else likes them here but i downloaded the leaked new album today!!!


Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who is annoyed with SRGMP getting the Pakistani singers to do Ganesh Puja? They can't say no and risk the ire of the Indian junta.

On another note how come the pakistani singers look and act so mature than their Indian counter parts. I liked how the dude with the long hair when asking Himesh for an autographed CD spoke.

At this stage though I think we have better singers this year than last year. Kaushik and Yashita are becoming my favourites. I think Debojit is peaking too early.

Anonymous said...

How about the guy who jumped up on the stage with a rupiyo ki mala during Jai-Jai shiv shankar? Head handled him quite deftly.

Unknown said...

Also Deepali Sathe got shafted - but I did think she was the weakest of the lot that performed. Going up Sarah Raza who has a much stronger throw - exposed her a bit.

I thought that whole Ganesh Puja thingie dance in the beginning was hilarious - who coordinates this stuff?

j, yes - I think the singers are better this year, especially among the women.

Unknown said...

m, I haven't heard the CD yet, but Kings of Leon always fascinate me in terms of how they are trying to market to the Youtube/Facebook generation. Its the Kat Dennings route and its interesting to watch - especially when you can see how bored some of these people are.

Speaking of which I once asked Kat Dennings if she could do a Bollywood interview with me and that girl never wrote back. Hmmph! I did forget to preface that whole email with how hot she is and all that. Those usually get you a response.

Anonymous said...

The drama is so much fun that I can't even recall any of the singers' names. I have no idea who they are or what they are good at (Jonar-wise)...I'm just so taken aback by all the fun drama.

Plus, everytime they show Himanshu on the screen, I have to excuse myself and go throw up in the bathroom. Has anyone noticed all the makeup he's started wearing. I swear we both have the same shade of blush!!

Unknown said...

I like the way Himanshu's wig bunches up behind his collar and sticks out. It's like Naruto but from the back.

Bella said...

saw the previews of Himesh's new movie... interesting to say the least

how does he manage to move with the wig on, considering we never see him move at all on the show?

the wonders never cease

Pitu said...

Haha sounds horrid!

maxdavinci said...

pratibha ne kya namak lagaya driftjee. no mention of her! the lady is friggin awesome, reminds me of that other cute girl frm bappida's gharana last yr.

serves himsehwar maharaj rite. last time he jeopardized all other contestants with unwanted controversies and -ve talk. ab toh like he said 'poora gharana retd hurt ho gaya'.

Shankar and pritam have the best singers and they seem to be the ones laffin!

dockaul said...

Aspi ! Brilliant review! ROFL at the pics. The SaraDrama sordid saga continues & I really feel bad about the diluted standards of this show which I have followed from the last 10-12 years. btw do you watch Junoon Kuch Kar Dikhane Ka on NDTV Imagine.. WOW Now that is what I call a musical show.. Well anchored by Annu Kapoor , Brilliant-Brilliant Singers & good direction by Gajendra Singh. I request all to check all episodes .you will be left raving at the unbelievable performances .

Anonymous said...

I gave up watching the show only because of this Trot ( Head ) and his stinking repeated words like
- Jisko Kare Sasu Pyar
- Jo haisa aisa Patha
Phataphat etc and what not.
Can not stand him ever and his stupid voice.
Junoon is Ok but has its Negatives due to Gaj and Hyped singers and Judges ( Ila & ARA )

Anonymous said...

For Sara Raza Khan's Fans
Two Videos ( Non SRGMP )
Anokha Ladla
Sara Raza Khan

Jiya Le Gayo Re Mora

Unknown said...

dockaul, I watched a few to check out Harshdeep. But apart from that I haven't been able to make much time. On the other hand I find Anu Kapoor to be weird enough to be motivated to find some time.

Pitu said...

LMAO at 'himeshwar maharaj' JMLR!

Anonymous said...

Something about Anu Kapur that Might change your opinion about him
Anu is a very talented and well read individual who started hosting when present day so called hosts were not even born ( Head included ).
He is an excellent host with knowledge of Literature , Films in general and singing.
BTW - Love the new look of Aspi Blog Page but need a better picture of Aspi ( The one that comes up in comments ).

Unknown said...

sibal, I defer to your opinion on Anu. I used to just get tickled when he and Sachin used to host similar antakshari shows and both would start singing at the slightest pretext.

In fact, I used to play "30 seconds to 'look how cool my voice is'" game when I would pick a moment on that show and start an imaginary counter. And sure enough Anu and Sachin used to oblige by cutting people short and launching into song.

The one in the comments is a better picture? Ok, I'll see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dear for educating on Anu Kapur.
May be this was a growing stage for him (as it is for Mr. Head !)

Anonymous said...

So I wrote a comment about Anu Kapoor a few hours ago. I don't know what happened. Maybe I forgot to post it cause I come back, and nowhere to be found. So here is a recap.

While he wasn't a drama seeker like all the other judges in other shows, I thought something was a little off about him He always did seem to appreciate all the good singing though.

Anyway, I realized that he's a pretty knowledgeble guy especially after watching this vid.

Unknown said...

Wait, what did I tell you - he took the opportunity to get in the middle and sing again. Uninvited. I am so right about Anu Kapoor I feel like Anu "I told you so" Malik.

Pitu said...

Anu Kapoor is a jackass. He is sooo incredibly over-confident and he has this horrid superiority complex thing going on. He used to hog the limelight constantly in any show he hosted. Yuck!

My favorite host has got to be Shaan. He is cute, sweet, mild-mannered and just so adorable. Itna fabulous singer hai lekin bilkul akad nahi! I have a feeling Udit would be an adorable host too :-D

Anonymous said...

Udit ? or you mean Head ?

He is and would be adorable to some people but equal number of people think otherwise of hhim.

Only Time will tell and Head beinh super ambitious may not like to stay as an anchor !

Anonymous said...

Eww out of all the hosts on Indian reality TV i like Mandira and Anu Kapoor the most.. Mandira is spontaneous and funny and doesn't appear fake....Anu Kapoor seems knowledgable and i love his random mujras on the floor and his epileptic fit dancing..

I hate Shaan, he seems so fake with his huge ass smile... and his constant nodding of his head and his docile hosting skills.

He looks nice, nice in a "i wanna punch him in the face" kinda annoying nice.. not nice as in "hey dude come over for a drink" nice...

Mini Mathur was aight too...

Anonymous said...

Cheers Megania !
I supprt the same views and the maturity of Anu Kapur !

Anonymous said...

teehee thank you fan ji

and OMG aspi's got a new pic up! with a smile... heeheehee

Anonymous said...

Am glad I could manage to come back.Firstly Aspi,u have really got inspired by these shows,eh! Nice 'makeover' foto in the comments section:).
Cringeworthy episode? I havent had time to read thru all the posts (sigh,lots to catch up with) but I watched the newsroom episode. Gosh, that was terrible too. I was looking aghast at the nonsense going on. I mean cmon, we r not babies who would enjoy such playacting. And the worst was when Shankar Mahadevan also started giving comments as if he was a reporter. Oh my God! All my regard for him came down many notches:(.
I have been watching only parts of these episodes, and I wish someone would just edit out the crap, and let me hear only the singing!(But then we wouldnt have fun on the drift then:)).
Gosh, did they really play the 'Taare Zameen par' music for Debojit? Poor guy!I think he was on one of the Indian Idol shows, (preliminary selections)where he had to sing a duet with some girl...she thought he misbehaved and it became a big issue where she said she couldnt sing with him.He didnt get selected then. I have some vague memories....does anyone remember?
Great pics and captions!

Anonymous said...

I think I have been missing lots of news. Himesh has a wig? What about all the hair-transplant he was supposed to have gone thru??

Anonymous said...

Apparently Himesh has a combination of hair transplant and hair extensions. In true Himesh style he says watch his next movie to figure out the truth.

Mini Mathur is my fav. I do like Hussein too if he could ditch his wife as his outfit designer.

Anonymous said...

anu g ..i remember about debojit being on idol..he got into some fight with farah khan on some kishore kumar song..and got eliminated..
he improved a lot in 3 years

Anonymous said...

Such extreme feelings about Anu Kapoor...he is quite entertaining in general so I like him. Head is starting to be entertaining this year...last year and all thru lil champs, he was just a pain in the ass. My favorite Anu kapoor is the one from Tezab where he's the 'aspiring' singer who works at a dhaba or something...I loved him in that! hehe

Unknown said...

anu g, welcome back! Man, you have the memory of an elephant. But poor Debojit, must have sucked to be him back then - especially with Farah to crack the whip.

I think of all the hosts I've seen Mini Mathur is the one I've liked the most. But then I haven't seen too many. I also watched Simone Singh because Sidekick was doing Mission Ustaad for us and she was pretty good - just a little too stylish for these circuses.

Unknown said...

Hey hey, m, as all my FB friends will testify - I smile a lot. Some people even think its Botox.

Pitu said...

Anon: I meant Udit, not Head.

J: Yeah, Hussain rocks. But that wife- Tina- is so stilted. I've never seen Mini Mathur in anything.

GG: You mean his role as Guldasta? Hehe. I also remember him in his rather Hangal-ian role in Chalbaaz.

Pitu said...

Aspi: You also giggle a lot :-D

Anonymous said...

My sis had met Annu Kapoor before he even tried for movies. She is an architect and was an intern for some work at National School of Drama in Delhi. Even before he had made his name, he was extremely cocky to be surprised that my sis and her friends did'nt know him.

Aspi, have you heard any of the contestants who use to come on Antakshri. A lot of them use to bray. I can see why Annu felt the need to break into a song himself.

btw, was'nt Richa Sharma a host on Antakshri as well?

Pitu said...

I met Raghuvir Yadav at Frankfurt Airport one time and he seemed very amazed that I didn't give him any bhaav. He kept looking here and there ki usko kaun pehchanega.

OTOH I have seen Rani Mukherjee at B'bay airport and she is rly nice. Immigration line mein khadi thi, she was polite to everyone and she very cooly ignored some young airport authority banda who was fawning over her.

My aunt who is an airhostess has some very very interesting stories to tell abt stars- she has met practically everyone in her 30 yr long career.

Pitu said...

Sry I meant Rajpal Yadav- so easy to confuse these 2.

Anonymous said...

pitu, please share some stories with us too...

Pitu said...

OK, but I won't name the baddies becoz I don;t want Aspi to get into trouble.

The good- Tendulkar gave an autograph, spoke very nicely in Marathi and hung around for 5 minutes at the airport till my cricket-mad cousin could reach to meet him. (maasi had made a phone call to my cuz to tell her abt Sachin)

Asha Bhosle (my maasi is a huge fan) actually sang a few lines for my maasi :-D and told her very sweetly to visit whenever she is in the Pedder Rd area (she was just being polite I am sure but still that was v nice)

Govinda posed with both my cousins as well as maasi, chatted, cracked jokes and was adorable overall. He changed my cousins' perceptions of him becoz they had always hated his movies. Now they like him :-)

Rajesh Khanna- very friendly, sweet, no starry air at all. (I've met him too)

Salman Khan- That pseudo Amreeki accent notwithstanding, very polite.

Preity and Ness Wadia- Polite but reserved. She was nice to autograph seekers, he looked bored.

Bad- An actress who was tipsy when she boarded the flight, kept asking for drinks and TOTTERED out the plane thus making a fool of herself.

An aajkal ki actress who dropped her D&G sunglasses and nagged my maasi to 'find them! they're designer! they're D&G' :-p My maasi was like I have other kaam also ya know ;-)

An ex Ms World, super airs, insisted on eating a lot of bhaav from all passengers, extremely stupid overall.

That's all I can remember right now.

Anonymous said...

pitu, yaar this must make for great dinner table convos at your maasi's
If she ever has Rakhi Sawant or Himmess on board let us know for sure :)

Anonymous said...

oh come on...name the baddies Pitu! IT's more fun this way. I met Sridevi when i was young...she was in the same flight as my family and I to London...also met Raj Babbar on that same flight.

Anonymous said...

Tum log kitne cute ho! Lekin jab star log star ko milte hai to kya hota hai?

Mujhe abh bhi yaad hai jab mein mere pyare dost Shatru ko pehli baar mila tha. Usne meri phet ko kheecha aur kaha "Abe Kameene!"

Meine turant kaha "Paaji mein Amitabh Bachchan nahi hoo! Mein to Dharminder hoo ji"

Wo bahut embress ho gaya. Ha ha ha ha. Kya zamaana tha woh!

Anonymous said...

Aspi, I love your blog and all the fun comments. I totally am in sync with you about the entertainement value of SRGMP.

Another point I would like to raise here is am I the only one who find it disturbing that SRGMP is actively fomenting regional dissension by asking viewers to vote based on which state the contestant belongs to rather than their talent!!

Unknown said...

Anon, I'm with you on that. Its worse over at VoI - where they think they are being clever about it - but its also unfortunate that SRGMP touts Indo-Pakistan ekta but doesn't mind touting "vote for your regional birader" when it comes to its own country.